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The Sciences

Venus and the Moon, looking pretty

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitDecember 28, 2011 5:24 AM

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The Moon and Venus make a pretty pair, don't they?

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I took this shot myself an hour ago as I write this, about 17:00 local time here in Boulder. I used my cell phone camera, then in Photoshop cropped it to 610 pixels wide (the biggest my blog width will allow) and blurred it a tiny bit to reduce the background noise. You can just barely see the "dark" part of the Moon, lit by reflected Earth light. The pair were closer together last night, and the Moon's motion around the Earth are separating them more as you read this. But they'll be back together again on January 26th (they'll get about 6° apart, 12 times the width of the Moon), and even closer on February 25th, when they'll be about 3° apart! That's a really nice photo op, so be prepared for it. If I can get such a nice shot with just my crappy phone, imagine what real photographers with nice equipment can get. I hope to see lots of gorgeous pictures of the pair then.

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